Just because a workplace smells clean doesn’t really mean that it actually is.
Many offices use fresh, clean scents to give the right impression about the cleanliness of their premises, however if you look below the surface, you may notice that everything isn’t as hygienic as it smells.
We tend to assume that a workplace that smells clean must be clean because we’re all used to the scented cleaning products which are commonly used at home, and this makes us forge a link between cleanliness and scent. However, there isn’t actually a direct link between the two things.
Just because an office smells of lemon, flowers or anything else for that matter, certainly doesn’t mean that it is clean.
The Importance Of Sanitiser
If cleaning products don’t contain a bactericidal ingredient or sanitiser as well as the scent, it is pretty useless when it comes to making surfaces clean.
A cleaning product which is only scented will just serve to spread bacteria around the various surfaces that it is applied to without killing any of the bacteria. Only a product which contains a sanitising agent can ensure that surfaces are truly clean by both removing dirt and grime an also killing bacteria which could cause sickness in the workplace.
Some people are allergic to strongly scented cleaning materials, whether or not the have anti-bacterial properties, and when they are used in the workplace they can cause allergic reactions and irritation.
Recently, products which use limonene have been on the rise in office environments. Limonene is a bacteriostatic cleaner which is organic and natural, being derived from citrus peel. It has excellent solvent powers, paired with a strong smell of citrus, however unlike many other cleaning products, its smell is from its active ingredient as opposed to coming from a scent which has been added to create a clean smell.
Although limonene products have their uses, they cannot kill bacteria and only prevent them from spreading and multiplying. If they are over-applied they often leave a slippery or sticky residue and the strong smell can be overpowering for some employees, especially those who experience allergic reactions.
Using Low-Scent Products
All of these reasons make the use of cleaning products with a reduced scent a much more sensible option.
Fragrances and scents can actually mask the odours which indicate a range of other issues such as unchecked fungal or bacterial colonies which are growing in hidden spots, or even possible pest infestations. Although effective cleaning products should contain an anti-bacterial agent to guarantee that all surfaces have been properly sanitised and are free of germs, and a mild solvent to remove greasy residue and grime, there is no reason why they need to smell strongly.
It’s important to remember that, while a light fragrance shouldn’t hurt your team, you should never assume that an office which smells strongly of cleaning products will actually be clean.